Author Archives: George Simmers

After many years as a teacher, I retired and began researching for a Ph.D. on the fiction of the Great War – especially the books, stories and plays that were written during the War or immediately afterwards.

Merry Christmas

Season’s greetings to all:

Listening to Kipling

Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable evening listening to Kipling. The Kipling Society has for a while organised regular Zoom get-togethers where memebers and enthusiasts take turns to read favourites from the Kipling canon – poems, or parts of stories, or songs. Yesterday, there were about twenty of us reading, and I came away with […]

Remembering?

It’s November 11th, but are we remembering? I took a walk round the centre of Huddersfield today, counting. Of the hundreds of people I passed, only five were wearing poppies. All were elderly. There were no medalled veterans waving poppy trays and jingling collecting tins at you, as there used to be. Eventually I came […]

Handbook of British Literature and Culture of the First World War

It’s arrived. This Handbook has been a long time in the preparation. The editors, Ralf Schneider and Jane Potter, originally hoped to publish it during the centenary period, but problems had to be overcome, and contributors had to be coordinated, so it has only recently arrived on Amazon – and my contributor’s copy arrived today. […]

John Bull

Insofar as Horatio Bottomley’s magazine John Bull is remembered in the history books it is as a purveyor of rabid Jingoism and hatred of the ‘Germhuns’. For a while I’ve been developing the idea that there was more to it than that, and that it was a strong populist voice, critical of the status quo. […]

Beer

After a long while away, I was back at the British Library at Boston Spa today. For too long I’ve been meaning to take a proper look at Horatio Bottomley’s John Bull magazine. Today I got deep into some 1917 issues on microfilm. Loathed by the respectable in his time, and vilified by all decent […]

‘Kipling in the News’

I spent last Thursday and Friday at the Kipling in the News conference in London. It was rather a strange one, because it was what they call hybrid. Current restrictions and problems keep many from travelling, so only a few of us met at the City University near Islington. The rest joined in from afar […]

Arnold Bennett’s Journal

My 1933 copy of Bennett’s journal is a book I often dip into. Full of forthright opinions and lively insights. Now I’m wondering whether I’ve missed out on a fuller edition of some sort. I’ve been reading Agate (1986) by James Harding, an enjoyable life of James Agate, the flamboyant drama critic. Harding quotes an […]

Kipling again

I’m excited to be attending the Kipling in the News conference in London early in September. This was first announced ages ago, and originally set to happen in September 2020, and then postponed a year, because of the miserable circumstances in which we live. I shall be there at the City University in person, but […]

End of a War

Wars in Afghanistan don’t usually end well. This painting by Lady Butler is called Remnants of an Army. It shows William Brydon, assistant surgeon in the Bengal Army, arriving at the gates of Jalalabad in January 1842. He is bringing news of the sorry fate of 16,000 soldiers and camp followers from the 1842 retreat […]